By Bill Mefford Photo by Associated Press
So, the latest uproar (though it is hard to keep track in this craziest of election seasons) is on Hillary Clinton's characterization of donald trump and half of his followers as "deplorable." The most obnoxious part of this is that trump's campaign is now going to play the part of being persecuted and attacked simply for wanting to "make America great again." While the media has repeatedly allowed trump to lie without repercussion, and has given credence to his racist rants by describing them as "political rhetoric" we are now going to be subject to endless media critique of Hillary's "mistreatment" of "normal American voters making their choice for President."
Yes, that sound is me rolling my eyes. Good grief. After waging a six year attack on President Obama for not being born in the United States (with the majority of Republicans still believing he is not a US citizen), after waging a year and a half verbal assault against immigrants and Muslims including pushing for a thoroughly unconstitutional policy of "ideological certification" on all incoming migrants (and with an uptick in physical assaults against both Muslims and newly arrived immigrants), after a lifelong attack objectifying and dehumanizing women, after mocking a disabled journalist, and after a whole host of other sordid comments and actions, trump will play the victim and the media will let him.
It is, can I say, deplorable?
When I watched trump's immigration speech in Phoenix I was expecting him to follow the advice of the new leadership in his campaign who is trying to make him seem, well, almost normal. Apparently, their advice was not followed for this particular speech because he went full-out nuts. It was one of the most frightening speeches I have ever seen. He works his crowd into a hysteria by blatantly lying about the public safety risk of refugees and immigrants and by blaming all social ills on immigrants. Here is a just a small piece:
This is a compilation of his "points" and doesn't contain the screaming into the microphone, nor can you hear the rants of his rabid followers wanting to lock Hillary up, deport her, and build that beautiful wall he is so in love with. It was disturbing to watch. Yes, indeed, it was deplorable.
It brought to mind a similar speech I saw years ago. I saw it in the film, American History X, a 1999 film about the allure of racism and the skinhead movement to a young man and his family who feel forgotten and marginalized by society. Sound familiar? The lead character, Derek Vinyard, played excellently by Edward Norton, blame society's ills on people of color, principally immigrants. Just before Derek Vinyard calls for his newly formed gang of fellow, disassociated, white skinheads to invade and physically assault the workers at a Korean-owned grocery store, he gives this speech to work his followers into a frenzy.
Now compare Derek Vinyard's rant with trump's rant at the Republican National Convention of all places.
Take out the cursing, add a ton of freshly combed and hair-sprayed pull-over hair, and Derek Vinyard could very well be running for President on the Republican ticket. The similarities in their language is deeply disturbing. Yes, this is deplorable.
But Hillary's comments were not just about trump - he is as deplorable as they come. Her comments were about his followers. Many will say that is unfair. I admit, giving a percentage like "half" is tricky when making such generalizations. But what are some of his followers saying? Here is a video with unfiltered evidence of what some of his supporters believe and the empowerment they feel after attending one of his rallies.
One of the most powerful lines is spoken towards the end when a man says the reason he is voting for trump is because this is the "Last chance to preserve the culture I grew up in." And this is what makes this election and the people who so rabidly and blindly follow trump so frightening. This is not an election about policies or ideas. This is an election about people who desperately and sometimes violently want to hold on to a racist, white-controlled society at all costs.
Though the media will spin themselves silly trying to ignore it. Hillary was right on. Trump and many of his followers are just plain deplorable.